Customer Relationship Management: People, Process, Technology
As our travels take us to various places here in Latin America, we are exposed to companies' attempts at customer service and marketing efforts. Most travelers will agree, the experiences are not always pleasant nor proactive.
However, here in Puerto Rico I had a great experience with Budget Rental Car. I was cleaning out the back seat of the rental car (a top-of the line Hyundai! The only car available...), in preparation for the return of the car this evening. So as I was packing my ties, papers, and random items into my gym bag, I apparently dropped the key on the back seat. Not a good move. I locked the door and no sooner had the door shut, I realized I was missing that important piece of metal and plastic. Of course this had to happen at 7am on the day that I am traveling.
I placed a call to Budget who informed me it would be a $100 service charge for them to come and open the car. As I looked at my watch and thought about my need to get to the office, I quickly replied "No problem, please send someone".
Within 5 minutes, I received a call from the manager at Budget. Apparently, after researching my profile, she realized that: 1. I am a "Fast Break" member (their frequent renter program) and 2. I have been renting from Budget weekly here on the island over the last month. She politely informed me that I am valued customer and that there would be no charge, and that she already had sent someone to come open the car. Within 20 minutes, my car was unlocked and I was once again able to enter the omnipresent traffic en route to San Juan.
Summary: An excellent example of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in action:
- Understanding the customer's situation
- Recognition of customer "CLV - Customer Lifetime Value" / Segmentation
- Appropriate Resolution / Offer
- How can all this occur?
- Client Information availability
- The application of the three critical elements that CRM must comprise:
- People (employees are invested into the customer-centric perspective)
- Process (following a specific process to ensure quality and delivery)
- Technology (access to the right data at the right time)